This is me attempting to not go on a rant. I get that people have differing opinions from one another (and, I actually welcome that concept as it encourages intellectual discourse). I don’t even really take issue when someone speaks out of ignorance as we are all prone to do that. What bothers me is when people are so blindly convinced that their way is the ONLY way to view a situation and all others are wrong and when one attempts to have some form of discourse with them that works another angle in, they recede into some deep cave of anorexic and petulant reasoning with their arms crossed and some fucking smug-assed look of judgement.
Enter my science fiction class. Now here’s the big thing: the term “Science Fiction” is so wide sweeping that it encompasses far more than any one particular preference for the genre. I will openly admit (and have admitted on here before) that I prefer “Hard Science Fiction,” or science fiction that is rooted within the scientific principles of the time that it was written. Ergo, most of my arguments and points are rooted in scientific principle (whether it is a widely accepted theory or fringe theory does not matter as all are relevant in the world of science fiction). As I acknowledged, the genre itself is so wide reaching that one is bound to find an issue with some facet of it. The keyword to remember, though, is “SCIENCE.”
HOW ON EARTH (or any other planet) can a class discuss time travel without knowledge of relativity? How can we discuss AI without understanding of consciousness? So on and so forth. Even if said “understanding” is nothing more than scientific hypothesis, one must still have a bit of a grasp on the science before one fabricates a fiction out of it. Science fiction that is not based in science has its own genre: FICTION.
End rant. Enter interesting theoretical concept. Assume, for a moment, that each decision each individual makes creates a whole different universe with its own time and own order of events. Basically, this is Chaos Theory applied to human reasoning and free will. What would happen if you could travel to these other universes and even travel to other times within these universes? Specifically, what would happen to your timeline? When you get ready to return to your universe, it has splintered billions of times (approx 6,775,235,700 times PER SECOND) so how do you know that the universe you return to will be yours and your timeline? Well the argument is made that when you return to that universe, you return to all of them (or rather, a version of you returns to all of them). So what of the universe you experience upon your return?
My point is that your time would still be linear. While the other universes are expanding and splintering exponentially, your experience will always be linear. You will return to the correct universe because that is the universe you return to (causal loop). In order to even be aware of these other universes, you must physically splinter into that many different people while leaving part of your consciousness intact to “oversee” all of the splintering and decisions and chaos. So basically, whatever you decide is the correct choice for your timeline (even if you return to a universe you cannot live in and therefore die, this one example that you experience is “fated” to die). This is exactly why I hate this application of Chaos Theory to reason and choice.
The response I got to that proposal was “NO NO NO! IT IS A STORY! IT IS FICTION! ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN!” (arms crossed, smug, bitchassed look plastered on said individual’s face). I brought up Chaos Theory and was reminded that this is about fiction and not science. Needless to say, I wanted to rip my hair from my scalp, smack the living crap out of said individual, and require all who agreed to enroll in some basic course that outlines scientific principles. This class I am in is an ANALYSIS class. It isn’t about “omg it’s a story and you’re too serious.” The questions presented in this class deal with “Why was it written to encompass the outcome that it did, what is a modernized outcome of this same story, and how would we categorize said story on the continuum of science fiction?”
Now my head hurts.
See ya, Space Cowboy.